Networking: How to Get the Most Out of Business Conferences

Who doesn’t love a good conference or networking event? You get the chance to break away from the office, network with like-minded, motivated colleagues, and hopefully learn new tools to level up your business. But on the other side of the coin, you might also feel stressed to break away from your daily responsibilities, overwhelmed by the crowds of people, and leave feeling like you have more to do and no more time to do it. Does this feel familiar? TurnKey attends a lot of conferences and we have three tips for making the most of attending conferences. 

Set an intention

If you go into a conference hoping to get “something” out of it, you’ll probably feel overwhelmed and aimless in your pursuit of the actionable wisdom you were hoping for. Instead, decide ahead of time exactly what you want to get out of the conference. For example: 

  • Learn more about effective email marketing and make a plan to adjust your emails accordingly,
  • Reflect on your “Why” and revisit your mission statement,
  • Find a new vendor for my products.

While you’re sure to get more out of the conference than just the one intention you set, by deciding ahead of time what your focus will be, you can make more informed decisions about which talks to attend or which mixers to visit.

Meet one person

In Episode 3 of the Playbook for Amazon Podcast, Jeff interviews his friend Kevin Liang, who is a MASTER networker. While he shares a lot about his networking tips in the episode, one great takeaway was his recommendation to focus on meeting just one person at an event and to make that interaction count. Whether you have a specific individual in mind or just a type of person you want to connect with, you don’t need to worry about talking to EVERYONE in the room. If you can leave the event having had a meaningful interaction with just ONE person you were successful. 

Debrief and go over your notes with someone within a week of attending.

At TurnKey this is our favorite thing to do post-conference! How many notebooks do you have from conferences filled with jumbled notes that you never even go back and read? There is GOLD in those notebooks, but they will NEVER benefit your business if you don’t take action on those takeaways. Our favorite thing to do after attending an event is to immediately go back through the notes and organize them in a more systematic way. If you have a flight home, that is the perfect time to do that. Then, within a week of the event, schedule a time with a team member or colleague, and share your takeaways with them. Verbalizing what you have learned helps those nuggets of wisdom truths sink in so much deeper and makes it more likely that you will act on the information. 

So, if you have a conference or networking event coming up, use these three tips to get so much more out of the experience. We promise it’ll make these events more enjoyable and it will make their takeaways so much more impactful!

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